With thousands of injuries and deaths every year, working in construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Across Ohio, construction companies utilize scaffolding to complete building projects, both large and small. It is the unfortunate truth that scaffolding structures are incredibly hazardous, putting construction workers at risk every day. Working with scaffolding means that extra caution must be taken to avoid injury and death, but in many cases, accidents are inevitable.
As a leading law firm serving workers across Ohio, we represent workers who were injured on the job. Our team of experienced Toledo scaffolding accident lawyers have the skill and knowledge necessary to secure compensation for victims of workplace accidents. We do what it takes to uphold the rights of injured Ohio workers and ensure their financial stability following an accident. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our Toledo office at (419) 595-4608 today.
How Do Scaffolding Accidents Occur on the Job?
A scaffold is an elevated, temporary platform that is used in many workplaces. Scaffolding accidents are common causes of injury and death in the workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, most scaffold accidents that result in injury or death to workers are caused by one of the following:
- Missing guardrails
- Damaged/defective ladders and scaffolding equipment
- Exceeding weight limits
- Lack of supervision
- Lack of safety inspection
- Instability of scaffolding
- Lack of safety gear or training
- Planking or support giving way
- Slipping and falling
- Being struck by a falling object
Scaffolding accidents on the job may also be caused by defective products, improper scaffold assembly or disassembly, inadequate maintenance, or negligence. In some cases, working in hazardous weather conditions is the cause of scaffolding accidents. Exceeding weight limits is also a common cause of scaffolding accidents, as this can cause the structure to give way.
While scaffolding safety standards are put in place to prevent these accidents from occurring, some builders and construction companies ignore these protocols. Following safety standards, providing adequate training to workers, and properly using safety equipment can all help mitigate the occurrence of scaffolding accidents.
When mistakes are made during the use of scaffolds, accidents are likely to occur. There are a range of hazards associated with scaffold use, and sustaining an injury while on the job may mean that you are eligible for workers’ compensation. A knowledgeable Toledo scaffolding accident lawyer can help you better understand the workers’ compensation claims process and how to secure the highest possible dollar amount in compensation.
What are the Hazards Associated with Scaffolds?
By design, scaffolds are temporary structures. This means that they are regularly assembled and disassembled, which can compromise their structural integrity. Some of the most common hazards associated with all scaffold structures include:
- Falls from high elevation, often due to a lack of fall protection
- Collapse of the scaffold structure, typically due to instability or overloading
- Being struck by falling objects like tools, debris, and other job-related materials
- Electrocution, largely due to the proximity of the scaffold to overhead power lines
How Common are Scaffolding Accidents?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that scaffold accidents result in approximately 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries annually. Moreover, falls from scaffolds comprise a quarter of all fatal falls from work surfaces. These accidents are too common in American workplaces and are highly preventable. For this reason, more and more Ohio workers are seeking guidance from Toledo scaffolding accident lawyers at Schaffer & Associates LPA to mitigate the consequences of these accidents.
What Are Common Injuries After a Scaffolding Accident?
Scaffolds are most frequently used to reach heights that are otherwise inaccessible. Due to this, the injuries sustained after a scaffolding accident are typically serious in nature. Some injuries can even lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some of the most common injuries that occur after a scaffolding accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord or neck injuries
- Lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring, amputation, or disfiguration
- Crush injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
In addition to these serious physical injuries, workers who were involved in a scaffolding accident can experience psychological trauma. This trauma can manifest in feelings of anxiety, stress, or even post-traumatic stress disorder. Oftentimes, these psychological effects can persist long-term, even after physical injuries subside. With this in mind, it is crucial to consult a Toledo scaffolding accident lawyer to see what form of compensation is available to you.
Who Is Responsible When a Worker is Injured in a Scaffolding Accident?
In Ohio, employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. Many employers opt for state-funded workers’ compensation insurance, which is provided through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Due to this legal requirement, the question of fault is inapplicable when a worker is injured. Neither the employer nor the employee can be held liable for the accident. Instead, any worker who was injured on the job is eligible to receive workers’ compensation to mitigate medical expenses and lost wages.
There are very specific circumstances in which liability is relevant, however. If a scaffolding structure is found to be defective due to a manufacturing error, for example, a third-party liability case may be present. In these situations, the injured worker may be able to recover damage from the manufacturer through a lawsuit. Navigating these issues is much more complicated and seeking assistance from a Toledo scaffolding accident lawyer can be highly beneficial.
Obtain Compensation with the Assistance of Schaffer & Associates LPA Toledo Scaffolding Accident Lawyers
Following a scaffolding accident, injured workers are often burdened by expenses and financial worries. This is compounded by the injuries that they sustained, which often require medical treatment or other physical rehabilitation. In some cases, the worker may not even be able to return to their job. This can dramatically impact the livelihood of the worker and their loved ones.
At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we acknowledge the important role of working men and women in our society. Our team of experienced Toledo scaffolding accident lawyers work tirelessly to secure compensation for injured Ohio workers. We are skilled negotiators and ruthless litigators who fight for every dollar in a workers’ compensation case or personal injury lawsuit. If you or a loved one was injured in a scaffolding accident, acting quickly can save you time, money, and stress. Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer today at (419) 595-4608.